Explore Yosemite East - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Although someone said journey matters not destination, in this case the at times strenuous journey was more than made up for by the incredibly beautiful lake! If you’re not acclimated to being around 9000ft above sea level- it’s gonna hurt as you heave up the first mile or so, and not so easy coming down either. But can be done take lotsa water and take it a little slow. Better to acclimatize drink some cocoa leaves tea , or matte is said to work good as well! Enjoy!

hiking
16 days ago

This was a nice out and back hike. At first it is lay and easy. Once you get to about a mile/mike and a half in, the trail gets hilly and a bit more challenging. Near the falls it gets a little tough o see the trail but once you’ve reached this point your basically at the falls. The falls weren’t as big as imagined they’d be but nonetheless is was a beautiful spot. There is a swimming hole there as well.

Amazing Views! Possibly my favorite hike yet.

very beautiful short hike. I just like to ask everyone to be very careful with the rocks, they are very slippery the closer u get to the water fall.

hiking
23 days ago

Easy and just so beautiful as you go around Lake Tenaya. Worth the drive.

Great views! Best going lower 1st, because the upper it's amazing! We spent 6 hours, almost 2 relaxing and taking pictures.

Short and no amazing views, okay lake. Trail just ends

Takes a good 3 hours round trip, plus time to relax at lakes. Very beautiful area makes it worth the hike there. Bring lots of water!

hiking
1 month ago

Such a beautiful lake in the middle of Yosemite National Park! Was there Labor Day weekend and there were still people swimming and plenty of happy people! Very clear lake and many great photo ops too!

This hike was a favorite! The views of Lower Cathedral Lake was awesome!! Upper Cathedral Lake was surprisingly windy. This hike has so many great views and a scenic walk in the woods. Most of the incline is at the beginning while your legs are fresh. Worst part was all the horse poop.

Pretty easy hike. Went September 8 and it was 90 degrees. Most of the hike is in the open so it gets pretty hot. Unfortunately the falls are dry this time of the year so that is why I only gave it two stars. I will come back in the spring to hike again and I expect to change the rating. The lake is an amazing color and beautiful to look at though. And who doesn’t like a dam?

hiking
1 month ago

A little fun finding the trailhead but a beautiful day hike. Not too steep but has some up & down to it with twists and such to keep it interesting. Bring you trunks if you want to cool off nice swimming holes and smaller cliffs to jump off if your into that
Enjoy!

paddle sports
1 month ago

Even Busy Labor Day Weekend the lake was amazingly quiet. Kayaked early morning then hiked trail around the lake. Highly recommend

hiking
1 month ago

Fun hike most of the uphill is at the start of the trail. Saw a Coyote in the trail so keep your eyes peeled.

Great hike! Shout out to Brianna and China for not waking up and coming with me. Enjoy the awesome pics pendejas!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this 9/2 to 9/3 - so happy there were no mosquitoes in sight. Perfect weather, not too crowded despite being a holiday weekend. Camped overnight at Upper Cathedral lake, and only saw two other small campsites set up. This is such a beautiful area. We arrived at the walk-in reservation station off Tioga Pass and had to wait about a half hour and listen to the rangers give speeches about responsible backpacking, which were actually great reminders. But glad we were able to secure walk in reservations.

Really awesome trail! My first trail out of Tuolumne Meadows. A little tough in the beginning but quite a few flat sections to catch your breath. If you want to extend the hike a bit I highly recommend walking around the lake when you get there.

backpacking
1 month ago

My favorite relatively easy backpacking trip. I kind of want to do this every summer. It’s so beautiful. If they allowed me (and I was engaged), I would get married here.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing hike, and super rewarding once you get to the lake. We went there in early June, so there was a lot of snow on Upper Cathedral Lake and a lot of rushing water at the lower end of it. We then went on the Sunrise Lakes, Cloud’s Rest, down to Yosemite Valley.

hiking
1 month ago

Did the hike in early June during my first time in Tuolomne Meadows. Found it more strenuous than usual for the elevation gain because of the higher altitude. Got a bit confused and diverted from the trail at the last bit before reaching the lake. The view of Cathedral peak was impressive.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike is not very strenuous or difficult in any way, although there is some elevation gain and you already start at higher elevation, making things a little more difficult. Moderate feels like an appropriate rating... The hike itself offers little in the way of views until you get to the lakes, which, however, are beautiful and well worth the effort, and provide a good alternative to the over-crowded valley floor. If you want to see a part of Yosemite that is less touristy, this is a good choice.

hiking
2 months ago

This was my very first hike and it was spectacular! I started at 6:30 AM and quickly learned that the trail wouldn't be as easy as I had thought. The first 1.5 miles are a strenuous uphill walk. I was completely exhausted within the first 10 minutes but the reward at the end was worth it. I started at 6:30 AM and was back at the trailhead at 10:20 AM.

Lower Cathedral Lake was absolutely gorgeous. I was the only one at the lake so it was like my own retreat. I would definitely hike this trail again and I recommend this trail for beginner hikers. Just bring plenty of water. I went through 4 bottles.

hiking
2 months ago

For a novice this was great

hiking
2 months ago

nice hike but not super scenic on the way. The lakes are beautiful, specially the upper one. Make sure you take a good mosquito spray. I have never seen so many mosquitoes in my life !

hiking
2 months ago

During Late-July, the weather was filled with clear and smoky skies. The Ferguson fire made a big impact on the conditions. Most of the day in Tuolumne Meadows, the skies were blue until around 3pm. At the trail head, park along the road. Find yourself hiking up the transverse. The elevation is pretty high for a valley person like me. Warming upwards, the hike is nice but very popular. The climb from the trail head to lower Cathedral Lake is around 1000 feet. Climb another 200 feet to the Upper Cathedral Lake which provided another good view. Throughout the hike, find flowers and foliage that are pretty. Overall, nice hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Would do again. I loved the waterfall at the end. Bring good shoes with traction

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 7/24. LOTS of smoke from the Ferguson fire. Trail has a small rocky section (around mile 3.5) that may be hard for small children/adults with balance issues. Lakes totally worth the climb. BRING WATER.

Very hard at the beginning but so nice !

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike last weekend with a few friends. Weather was a bit hazy from smoke but nothing serious. Throughout the day it cleared up. Light traffic.

hiking
2 months ago

The day before we hiked Cloud's Rest and the air was a bit hazy from the Ansel Adams Wilderness fire, nothing like the current Furgeson fire, but since we were staying at Rush Creek Lodge, Wapama Falls seemed convenient and easy. The elevation gain is much more than you think when you are at the dam, about 1,000 feet. We hiked in late afternoon and the sun had left the falls area, so recommend you start in early afternoon to get the best pictures, Still this was an awesome hike around the reservoir, and the falls were still impressive, even after much less snowfall this year in the Sierras. Some words of caution, poison oak is prevalent along this trail, so be mindful along the sides of trail. Also some folks had climbed up the waterfall and in their glee lost their cellphone in the falls. Finally, rattlesnakes are in the area. Loved the waterfall area and multiple bridges. Highly recommend this hike and you get away from the crowds of the valley.

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